Oh, what grief! I have lost you; lost you truly… my PRECIOUS!
One ring to bind us, yet this ring had a will of its own - it abandoned me. And it took a part of me with it. How long must it now lie in the blur water of Kerosine Creek where it slipped from my finger?
Rotorua is about 120 km east of Hamilton - halfway to Rotorua lies Hobbiton. Here the ring-bearer started on his quest through Middle Earth in Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of the Lord of the Rings. Ben, who joined us this weekend, reckoned that it is no wonder that the trilogy was filmed in New Zealand; where else could all the landscapes be found which encompass a whole (fantastic) world?
Water seemed to be the central theme of our weekend: In water my ring slipped off; Rotorua is surrounded by lakes; and it rained most of the time during our visit.
It was raining as we arrived in the Maori village of Ohinemutu on the banks of Lake Rotorua. What a blend of Maori and European influences! Look at the top right picture: At the front right there is a wooden Maori carving; behind it is a statue of an angel; and in the background there is an Anglican church, built in a similar way as Maoris would build their Maraes. One window inside the church displays a portrait of Jesus Christ wearing a Maori cloak.
South of Rotorua we hiked in the Whakarewarewa Forest between the Blue Lake and the Green Lake. Scenic beaches stretched along the shore and fern grew everywhere.
Rotorua is very special. If one can get anywhere a sense of how alive and restless the world must be underneath its crust - especially underneath New Zealand - , then it is here: Geysers, steam emerging from the ground, bubbling lakes, and the sulfur smell of rotten eggs give proof. On Sunday we went to look at a mud pool. Not only did the mud bubble, at times it firmly exploded into bits and pieces, as can be seen on the bottom center picture. Soft ‘plop’-sounds surrounded us, a weird experience.
Eventually, we went to the Kerosine Creek to swim in body temperature water. There it happened: the ring which helped binding me to my sweetheart in Germany slipped off. I tried to feel it; the water was to muddy to see the bottom and probably the current carried it further downstream. After half an hour I gave up, it was hopeless. I lost it, and it did not feel good. I lost it,… my PRECIOUS!